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tv   John Mc Laughlins One on One  WHUT  January 22, 2012 11:00am-11:30am EST

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today's part two of albert einstein's life and we'll talk about einstein the man and einstein the lover. and can the world produce another einstein? staying with us for part two staying with us for part two are alice and robert schuhman. if. for such a small if i live to a hundred. if social security isn't enough. if my heart gets broken.
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if she says yes. we believe if should never hold you back. if should be managed with a plan that builds on what you already have. together we can create a personal safety net, a launching pad, for all those brilliant ifs in the middle of life. you can call on our expertise and get guarantees for the if in life. after all, we're metlife. heart. kdm, resourceful by nature. alice, how many years did you work on einstein? >> well, let's see, since 1978. i was hired at that time to do a computerized index of everything that is in the einstein archive. >> you have produced the einstein almanac, and it goes year by year of what happens in the life of einstein and its impact of the world. professor einstein, a forward
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by everlet einstein. a forward of einstein? >> she is his granddaughter. >> this deals with albert einstein's letters to and from children, right? >> right. >> you have a recordable einstein, which is a great book also, and some amazing quotes, not all scientific by any means, most not. which you gathered, correct? >> yes. this is the third edition. the first one was a quotable einstein and the expanded quotable einstein and this came out to commemorate this year. >> and robert schuhman, you are dr. schuhman and you produce, this is a massive book. it's about 400 pages and beyond. this is a collected papers of albert einstein and you have done nine volumes of books of this comparable size?
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>> nine volumes, but it has taken twenty years and these are in two series, writings and correspondence. i have done an edition of his love letters, which also was part of volume one and i'm working on the political einstein, which will be texts of einstein's politics from 1919 on. >> how many lovers did einstein write love letters to? >> that we know of? >> yes. you published all of his letters. >> we know for a fact that six letters were destroyed of the letters to elsa, which was the second wife with whom he had the affair when he was still married to the first wife. >> which was who? >> the second wife was his cousin, married and then went back to einstein. >> did she have children by her first husband?
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>> she did, two children. >> how many years was he married to his first wife? >> he married her in 1903 and divorced her in 1919, 16 years. >> did she divorce him or did he divorce her? >> it was irreconcilable differences. he admitted in his divorce papers that he committed adultery, which at that time was necessary in order to get a divorce. >> mrs. calaprice, did he have any children by his first wife? >> yes, they had three children. there was one child who was born out of wedlock, a little girl. they named her lazel and she lived for only a year and a half and then she may have died of scarlet fever. >> what about the second child? >> the second child is the oldest son and another child was born. his name is edward. >> isn't there a missing
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child? >> lezel is the missing child. >> you said she had died? >> we are not sure if she had died. we assume she died. she either died or she was put up for adoption because she was born out of wedlock. >> anybody attempted to trace whether she was in fact adopted? >> well, robert has done some work on that. >> no traces? >> the fascinating thing about the story is that we only know of her existence from the letters. as we have no objective records from the birth registries. all we have are the letters in which she is mentioned. there are all those who argue she didn't exist at all. >> there's no question einstein had an unusually active labido. >> i guess it depends on the norm. >> do you think genius is an excuse for this conduct?
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>> absolutely not. he was the first to acknowledge that, saying that was not his strength. he was a bad father and a bad husband. on the other hand, he said to his second wife, quite clearly that he was going to be engaging in relationships and she accepted it. >> the second wife? >> yes. >> that is elsa. >> yes, that doesn't excuse it, but he is not hypocrite call about it. >> did he have children with her? >> no, they were first cousins. >> was skitsfrania in there with some children, by her previous children? >> no, it was the second son by milava and he had a history of skitsofrania. her sister was committed in switzerland and it is conceivable that the mother also had it. >> disabilities on his side? >> not that we know of.
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certainly he blamed her. >> well when he died, his brain was extracted and his eyes were extracted. and the rest was cremated. correct? >> yes. >> the brain was then divided into parts, was it not? >> yes. >> many parts. like over 200? >> yes, i think it was 400. >> was it reas assembled? >> i don't think so. >> they have reconstructed it on the base of the photographs. i saw that on a television program. >> how good is that? >> how idiotic if you want to somehow see the whole brain, you are going to be able to find the source of his genius. >> did he have an affair with his best friend's niece? >> his best friend's niece, yes. he also had an affair with his future wife's daughter, or
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tried to. he tried to marry the daughter of elsa. >> he proposed to her? >> we only know that indirectly, again. she wrote to a letter that einstein was putting the make on her and she wasn't really that interested. >> what does that phrase mean? >> putting the make on. >> interested in her physically. that's how she describes it. >> elsa's daughter? >> she says -- >> the daughter? >> the daughter describes it -- okay. she was 22 years old. >> she was born in '97, so she was 20 years old. >> this sounds like luita with the daughter and the mother. >> yes, it does. the shocker in that, of course, is that einstein says in the end, or this is now her reconstruction of it, you
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decide who i should marry. you the mother and you the daughter decide. i leave it up to you. >> humbert, remember him? >> sure. >> can't we make a case, he was unorthodox, he was highly independent, he was original in his scientific life. extraordinary in all of these things. can we divide a set of ethics on his independence and originality in the way he thought about scientific matters? can we match that in the world of morality? if you are unconventional in life in one sphere are you going to be unconventional in another sphere? >> is it a phenomenon that can be observed? >> the powerful people, male
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and female have strong labidos that provide, i probably contribute to the overall composite, personality, energy. does that make any difference? is there any excuse for this? >> well -- >> this man was really bitterness. >> i would preface that by saying i'm not a psychologist. >> but you're a doctor. >> of history. >> you wrote a lot about historical figures. >> certainly there are other great scientists and other great artists who supplement their sexuality in other fashion. >> so supplementation. >> no, he was not given. >> is there anything you detected in any of his writings that would indicate that he felt anything unusual operating in the world of his moral view or his ethics that would come to bear on this? i think this is an important
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issue because his genius is such that it demands an extraordinary level of admiration and wonder and is it undercut by the type of behavior we have been talking about? and if it does, is there something else that provides some limited excuseability? extenuation, you think? are people trying to save him from this? is it necessary? or do we just say a genius is a genius? >> i think that doesn't entitle him not to, you know, be unethical. >> he became quite forceful in the beginning of 1945 when much of this was not known. he talked about one world, correct? and he had deeply held beliefs in that regard, but no one, i guess, chose to try to undercut him in any of those beliefs by
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saying he is disreputable in his private life, why take this man seriously? you know what this does to anybody in public life. >> the scrutiny was not what it is today. i don't know if he would survive the scrutiny today. he is typical of a phenomenon that is not uncommon. someone who loves mankind and humanity in the abstract and doesn't deal very well with them on a personal level. >> let's talk about his religion. he regards himself as a religious man. >> he does. >> this is described in the excellence book published in 1971 and republished in einstein's own words of what he believes. an impersonal god, a deterministic universe, disregard of money and material gains. world government, that means proponent of world government,
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passism and socialism, all of these are generally thought to be un-american and more or less subversive, but einstein believed in the whole lot. that was the way he conducted his life. >> yes. >> and he also believed in -- he wrote that article at the request of the "new york times." he believed in the basis of his religion and fulton was a great preacher in the church made fun of him for that. the only mistake he made was the letter s. this is comic rather than cosmic. >> for einstein be the impersonal god was something he took from spinoza who he admired greatly and god was imminent in the universe he had made and that to discovering of
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laws of nature, you were getting closer to the old one, as he called them. >> here is a quote from the "new york times" speech. quote, i assert that the cosmic religious experience is the strongest and noblist driving force behind scientific research. he did not believe in a personal god. >> no, he did not believe in prayer. >> he did not? >> no. he did not believe. >> this is a diaistic god? >> it goes beyond, because it's a force. >> yes. >> he thinks -- that gave him -- he condemned anyone who said he was an atheist, correct? >> right, because he thought the root of religion and science was curiosity about the world beyond the human sphere. >> there's another scientist
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who was a judge, his name was tahad who was a paleontologist. he got under the nerves of his superiors when he lived in paris and they sent him to china. he had, i'm not saying he didn't think of god at personal terms, but he had a cosmic sense of god. and he wrote almost cosmic poetry, if you will about that. >> he was very popular in my youth and i don't hear much about him anymore. >> the last person that spoke to me about him was mario, former governor of new york. he was very devoted to his thinking and his letters and he had a woman whom he deeply loved. and she, him, and he wrote to
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her. so we talked about his religion. he was also a pacifist, was he not? do you have any insight into his humor or any further insight into his love life? >> well, what would you like to know about his love life? what do you mean? >> any other women besides the one we discussed? >> first there was a wife, nileva and he started having an affair with his second wife while he was still married, then after he was married to elsa, the second wife, he did have a series of affairs. >> did she know that? >> she was very much aware of these affairs. >> who is the woman that worked for him for years and years and years and took care of him after elsa died? >> helen dukus. >> that was a relationship, wasn't it? >> there was no relationship. einstein referred to her as his
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superist. >> that doesn't sound like a very nice analogy. >> he referred as the family of women he was with as the chicken coop. >> that was a put down? >> it was, shall we say, southern german sense of humor, which is a rather crude and derives a lot of its impact from the barnyard. >> really? >> oh yes. >> now here's a new dimension you don't hear too much about. >> i don't think he was course. he had a tongue and cheek sense of humor. >> was he sexist? >> yes. >> well, but i think most men were sexist in that generation. so i don't think he was unusually sexist. >> he wasn't unusually sexist. >> what was his view of
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israel? >> he supported the state of israel, but not politically. >> he didn't support it in the beginning, though. >> absolutely not. he did not want to stay. he wanted a cultural place for jews. that was his great affection for the hebrew university also. he wanted a place for jews to be professors. hebrew university is the center piece for his love of palestine as a place for them to find cultural refuge. >> you know he really disliked nationalism. >> yes. >> and that's what he felt israel might develop into. >> he said it quite explicitly. he said it as late as 1946, before the aglo american committee into the state of palestine. this is the committee in which
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richard crossman was in witcha. the idea of a state is hateful to me. two years before the founding of the state of israel. >> when whitesman died, who offered the presidency to einstein? >> bangurian. wouldn't that have been a disaster. >> there's the famous joke that he said, what do we do if he accepts? but because they considered him to be the greatest jew of the 20th century, they had no choice but to offer it to him. there was no danger he would have accepted. >> let's inquire about whether the world hasn't produced another einstein in the past hundred years. why is it only albert einstein that has been able to accomplish what he accomplished? is it only because of his
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genius or were there a set of circumstances working in his favor, for example, were there social circumstances? were there occupational circumstances? were there economic circumstances? to track that further, isn't it true that there isn't much room today for a wayward maverick that your scientist today are all herded together in a team on one particular facet of concern or focus, correct? >> absolutely. the thing that is viewed as a disadvantage of einstein is he came out of nowhere and had no institutional backing. a great virtue in his case or a great advantage because he had the freedom not to follow what a doctor, father as the germans would call it as a research
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program. he could develop his own. >> did you ever experience peer review, alice, and you see the requirement of that today? continuous because of specialization subject to intense scrutiny? sometimes friendly, but often hostile? >> he didn't experience any of that. he couldn't get his papers published even his first go around with e equals mc squared, or was it before that? back in 1905. >> 1902, he published work and he was a nobody. he was an attorney. >> he was a clerk, that means he is reviewing patents. but in 1902, there is review. in 1905, he is peer reviewed by william, the extremist. >> that is considerably later. he got his start by publishing
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and it was a nonentity. he was not recognized, no peer review. if that happened today, if that was submitted by a maverick scientist today, it would go right in the trash can and we wouldn't get any review, is that true or false? >> true. >> isn't that a horrible state of affairs? >> but the specialization is so great now that you can't do this science. >> there's a way out, is there not? what's the way out? to argue that there will be another einstein. >> you can clone him. >> clone einstein? >> from the brain. >> no, that's not the way out. it's interesting, i hadn't thought of that. >> what's the other one? >> the net. the internet. the internet, you don't need any peer review. you get out there and sooner or later, i think we'll produce another einstein. i think the odds are not great that we will, but i think we will. >> the problem there is
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separating. >> it will emerge. >> possibly. >> i want to take note that once israel was founded, he was a supporter of israel. >> that's absolutely right. >> whether he feared nationalistic tendencies broadly speaking or not. he also felt the arabs and the jews could be reconciled. correct? >> he felt it was the moral test for the jews to be able to find accommodation with the arabs. >> what about anything further to be said about his pacifism? which he clearly was able to sidestep when it was a defense the country was involved in. he worked with the united states navy, did he not? >> he did. he already had given up pacifism for a period of time, realizing hitler was unstoppable and had to be met
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with by force of arms. >> alice, what about his oddogy, he wore no socks a lot, correct? >> this may be due to the fact he had sweaty feet, which is one of the reasons he was excluded from the swiss army. >> but then he would need socks. >> you can argue the exact opposite of that. he may have found they were heat producers. we'll have to live with that mystery. >> i suppose. >> is this true, it is said that husband of his time, he had no time to buy a new suit. he had no time to have his haircut. he was not willing to expand that kind of time? >> i think he didn't think it was important enough. >> he was completely uninterested in material things. that follows also from what you read as part of the things he believed in.
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materialism, the questions of dress were -- he made fun of it in berlin when he was in high society. he made fun of the need to strut around like a peacock. so that was something that he didn't like. >> what about his assets when he passed away? >> his assets for the most part were with the literary estate and that's what passed money are we versity. talking about? >> i mean the literary state is still essentially in tact. so i have no idea. that thing is priceless. i have no idea. >> you talk about the papers you are putting together? >> we are doing it in transcription. we are only taking the intellectual property. the physical property is priceless and it is something that hebrew university does works with copypy write
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permission to quote. >> what kind of literary product? the love letters was sold. what did that fetch? >> i think $400,000. >> well that's not -- >> no, it isn't. it was disappointed and they regretted having me as their consultant because they said i failed them. but i think -- >> you do that on the side in addition to editing all these books? you are writing a biography on him now? >> i'm writing a biography and a book on the political einstein, which is a colleague on germany will appear next year. so i'm keeping busy. >> his politics? >> he is socialist. >> well, he wrote an interesting essay called is individual freedom possible under socialism? >> you think you'll buy that book, alice, when it is available? >> why not? >> robert's book. >> of course.
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>> i will. thanks so much for being my guests. we are out of time. it has been great having you and it's a really fascinating subject stopping him now. adm, resourceful by nature.
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